I hope it got you noticed! It is something that every business owner knows, but it seems to fade away from the changes in our day-to-day business.
I’m not going to give you much rhetoric about the topic. Instead, I’ll give you a list of 10 points that will clutter up your business memory.
Let’s start with several intelligent ways to reduce the cost of doing business:
1. Exchange – You must exchange products or services with other businesses. Try to trade before you buy something.
2. Network – Can you trade leads or mailing lists with another similar business? This will reduce your marketing / advertising costs. If you do not have a lead list, try to exchange your products / services for their lead.
3. Wholesale / Bulk Buying – You can save money by buying large quantities of your business supplies. Get a membership at a wholesale store (like Costco, Sam’s Club) or purchase through a mail order wholesaler. I buy most of my office supplies / paper through mail order vendors and it saves me money and takes them to my door. Moving from the warehouse to the car to the office and not even saving money! What a deal.
4. Free Things – Try thousands of “free” sites on the Internet before buying business supplies. You can find free software, graphics, legal forms, online business services, etc.
5. Borrowing / Renting – You bought a piece of business equipment and needed it for a short time? You can borrow the equipment from someone else or rent it from a rental shop.
6. Online / Offline Auction – You can find office furniture, equipment and even cars and trucks at online and offline auctions. Pay particular attention to law enforcement agencies or IRS holders who auction off confiscated goods. I don’t say often, but try to bid on them before you pay for the big ticket items.
7. Plan ahead – make a list of supplies or equipment you will need in the future. Look for stores that have big sales, and buy them before you need them.
8. Used but not Abused – If you don’t need equipment and supplies to be brand new, use them and buy them. Cars, tables, file cabinets can be found in yard and garage sales, used stores, message boards and free publications. Some great items are sometimes offered when you decide to move or close a business.
9. Discuss, discuss, discuss! This has become a lost art. You should always try to negotiate a lower price for any business equipment or supplies. There is no harm in trying. Imagine that you are talking to a used car dealer.
10. Search – You can always find new suppliers for your needs. Look for lower prices and better quality suppliers. When you find one, try to point the difference to your current provider. You can get a better deal from him and not have to change. Not satisfied with a few. You never know when your favorite supplier will decide to quit.
If you’re a native Californian, these things I’ve discussed are a little harder to swallow. Being a native New Yorker, let me tell you, these are the things you learn by doing business there and at an early age.
Remember! Not every millionaire inherits their wealth by inheritance; Some were intelligent businessmen.
I’ll give you the other half of the equation in next Saturday’s column. How to anchor more sales.